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News/Business. (2013) The U.S. Supreme Court and the death penalty; Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). (CC)

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Us 5, China 5, Texas 4, United States 3, Maryland 3, Hagel 2, Gingrich 2, Arctic 2, Clinton 2, Washington 2, Allstate 1, Pentagon Official 1, Cia 1, Abc 1, Jesse Jackson 1, Donald Trump 1, Dr. Paul 1, Jane Joyce 1, Ray Lahood 1, Martin O'malley 1,
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  PBS    Inside Washington    News/Business.  (2013) The U.S. Supreme Court and  
   the death penalty; Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). (CC)  

    February 24, 2013
    6:00 - 6:30pm PST  

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[drum & synth fanfare] (jane joyce) polar bears are specially conditioned for life in the harsh arctic environment. polar bears rely on vast expanses of arctic sea ice to hunt for seals in the fall to build up enough fat reserves to carry them through the meltdown in the spring. but the future of the polar bear is literally "on thin ice." the arctic has warmed by 2 to 4 degrees fahrenheit since the 1960's, about twice the rate of the rest of the world. the frozen habitat the bears depend on for survival has shrunk dramatically. arctic ice melts earlier and forms later,
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shortening the bears' hunting season. polar bears are forced to come ashore earlier, undernourished, or weakened from longer swims in the more open sea. bears have been spotted swimming as far as 60 miles from shore. some have suffered exhaustion and drowned in search of food or an ice floe. in 2004, polar bears were engaged in cannibalism in areas where there was little ice on which to hunt. by century's end, the summer arctic ice is predicted to disappear; so, too, would the polar bear. the warmer world we humans are creating has serious consequences. what is happening to polar bears is a preview of changes that will work their way across the globe. the longer we wait to act, the worse the consequences will be for our descendants.
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production >> assistance provided by albritton communications nad politico. >> the joys republicans are making is to put these people out of work in order to help taxpayers. >> this week, the sequester blame game and armageddon scenarios. >> it was his idea. he signed it into law and now he's going to tell us that it's all our fault? >> the cyber wars. is china hacking us blind? >> of starting a broad swath of western organizations.
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>> you might as well pick a card out of the deck as to who will get the death penalty. >> some of them will say it's a bad idea. >> the brash new kid on the block. >> i was elected to speak the truth. captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org-- quite sequestration. march 1st is the deadline. they warn 800,000 civilian employees will have to take unpaid leave in federal employee workers will have to take a cut for the next six months. the long lines at the airport, travel delays. you may want to be careful what
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you eat because food safety inspectors will be affected. they will be taking a hit. salaries in congress are safe, but they tell us none of this is supposed to happen. >> it was never meant to become implemented policy. >> and now they face a simple choice. are they willing to compromise to protect vital investments and all the jobs that depend on them? or would they rather put hundreds of thousands of jobs and our entire economy at risk just to protect a few special interest tax loopholes that benefit only the wealthiest and biggest corporations? >> of sequestration was never meant to be implemented, then why was it implemented? >> the president is the one guy who can step above it and he's
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just playing politics. >> are we having fun yet? >> there is a sense of sleepwalking as we head toward the first of march and i think republicans are making it a serious political mistake to be on the subject of the issue in underestimating how much of their buying to be blamed for what happens. >> do you think the armageddon scenario is being overplayed? >> it is the biggest since the mayan calendar. it's ridiculous. here we are spending $3 trillion per year from the federal government with an $85 billion cut. it is about 2 cents on the dollar and it is the end of the road and we're so much in debt? if we cannot cut this minuscule amount with the trillion dollar deficits every year, we are headed towards agrees. we're going to make them look
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healthy. >> they quoted a pentagon official sang, "it really scares the hell out of me." doesn't scare you? >> it scares me if it goes on for a long period you cannot get to be them without no sense of responsibility. the president is leading, but he's not leading in the direction that he wants. he is leading to blame the republicans, which i suspect he will succeed in because as "the new york times" said, it is a suicide dive down they will get blamed. the only answer is to get together and obama thinks he has them on the ropes and republicans cannot seem to get themselves together. >> we just heard dr. paul say it was the president's idea. wasn't it? >> who cares? it's a bad idea on both sides.
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it's the blame game. it is the president's responsibility far more than anyone else, particularly a second term president who just won reelection. it's his responsibility to rise above this nonsense. he's not doing it. >> ought to show you something. this was a cover during the mid- 1990's and the speaker of the house complained that he had to exit air force one by the rear door, but that's not the point. the public complained and blamed president clinton, but after a while, his numbers went up and gingrich himself has said that the budget standoff with the single most avoidable mistake as speaker. you can never be sure how these things are going to play. >> the gingrich example is certainly instructive. he was the man of the year for "time" and he plummeted to 16%
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favorable. that is just a little bit south of donald trump. those are really bad numbers. he never fully recovered from it. this is what the political backdrop is heading into this confrontation because the president's numbers are at the highest point at any point in the last three and a half years going back to late 2009 during his honeymoon period. he does have a political advantage. make no mistake about it. i think some republicans understand this, but i think the core of republicans in the house what this confrontation. >> is my emails and phone calls are any indication, they are fed up with this. >> they are, but there's no one to make a deal with on the republican side. they're very divided.
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a lot of republicans have been around for a while really do not like the idea of sequestration, but it's a significant part of the majority who want a sequestration and they think it's great. it is the result of redistricting where no one is really accountable. >> go ahead. >> i disagree. the real story is that obama has spent trillions of dollars and he has racked up $5 trillion in one term and he will rack up $6 trillion in the second term. he has not cut anything. he talks about dealing with the deficit, but every time he has had a choice, even his own budgets, there are none. every dollar washington spends, 40 cents comes from china. the problem is that unless the
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cuts begin at some point, we're heading over a cliff. this is the only time, the only time republicans have a chance by doing nothing, since it's written into law the how the real cuts. and the president in his second term ought to rise above this and is looking at his numbers instead of the budget of the united states. he has proposed no cuts -- none. >> he does not even seem to be worrying about it. there is no sense of urgency. they're so in charge but they only see this in terms of an advantage. there's no sense from the white house that they are worried. >> i hate to interrupt this gloom and doom but it is 30 cents we get for each dollar, which is an improvement. as far as the president's numbers on the deficit, the percentage of income collected from the income-tax has been the low was between 2009 and 2012 in
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the past 60 years since the korean war, since before the existence of medicare and the reality is the republicans have ruled out any tax increases and they're being irresponsible. there is enough irresponsibility in this to go all the way around. >> ray lahood, outgoing transportation secretary, warning that if sequestration goes through that it will affect air travel, our air controllers, tsa agents. there may be long mind at the airport. what are some of the other things? >> most of the country would ignore that. it will affect several employees and there will be some hardship, but some of the effects are exaggerated. a lot of people do travel and when those long lines happen, that will bring the political belt. >> the obvious answer to any of
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this is to allow the shift of funds internally from one department to another. that is the reason why you would get all of these. it is a trivial amount of money, but it is because you can shift it around that it will hurt these services. it's a very obvious answer and it is to say within any department did secretary can shift the money around so you have important stuff like air travel, meat inspection, stuff like the gsa guys who hang out in hot tubs and have conferences. it's not hard to find the money in any department you can cut that is not an emergency. no one will agree, especially the president. let the president have the authority. say, you can shift funds inside and the department and you will not have any of these armageddon results. >> the last place you would want
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to cut is in air traffic control. >> there will be more delays. planes will be sitting on the ground. >> it would just be slower. >> the public will notice. that will finally move the dial. >> most of the cuts will not hit the public and constituencies at the outset. our traffic is one of them that will. -- air traffic will. it does protect social security, medicare, and medicaid, but community health centers and vaccinations are not protected. >> and education. >> we are going to get cuts in teachers, special education, and cut across the board. we are heading at the outset the core republican -- >> how will it have an impact on the economy? >> 800,000 people in the defense
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department for 22 days, that's a lot of people who do not have money who are not spending. but that in every other. and it goes to police and fire departments will have less money. there's hardly a person in any field who gets grants of any kind, whether it is from the state or federal government who is now saying they have been told they cannot count on it. even in the federal courts. they are not ordering a. >> of that slows down the economy, isn't it counterproductive? >> it is 0.3% and it's a trivial amount of money. the idea that it will slow down the economy is ridiculous. as a percentage of non-defense is 1.5 cents out of $1. >> no economist says -- >> we are drowning in debt and we are asking for a 1.5% cut in
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non-defense spending and people say it's the end of the world. we have to cut 30% ultimately if we want to get near a balanced budget. >> there is no one who thinks sequestration is a good idea. >> the congressional budget office, which i agree does not mean it's an economic authority, but they said they will be cutting economic growth by one half. >> how much of our economy is it cutting? >> complaining about the uncertainty, we know that. china has been stealing our lunch in cyberspace. >> it is costing hundreds of billions of dollars and thousands of u.s. jobs every year. >> counterterrorism expert who worked under the reagan administration, both the bushes, president clinton. the pit cyber warfare they're
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waiting on the united states and have been doing it for years. who has been minding the store? >> there was a bill that had been agreed to on some cybersecurity and, you may recall, that the privacy aficionado's went bonkers it is it bananas' and bonkers together. they flooded their members of congress and and it did not pass anything. meanwhile, there is not a serious person in washington of any ideology who has not known with increasing power that this is a problem. the president said he will use his executive powers to do it and for all these people on the internet, this is just like a range and there can be no regulation whatsoever. it will come back to haunt us. >> we have this huge defense
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establishment and we have a place in maryland where they're supposed to know about this. >> it raises a strategic question we have now really thought through yet. they cannot shut our lights off and leave us in the cold pretty much any time they want. what do we do? is this a nuclear issue? it's a whole new realm of strategic thinking that i do not think we have thought through. >> they can take our airplanes down. they can do all kinds of interesting things. >> what you might do, and i remember reading about this earlier, we are working on an offensive cyber war, what he might threaten if you cannot devise a defense, if you're going to attack us, we will shut down the lights in beijing and all over china. i think we probably have the
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same capacity, so that could be a kind of deterrent the way we have a deterrent in the nuclear war. >> in terms of our defense, a plan by the rules. >> it's not an open and shut case, you know? we have a free society and the internet is one of the freest instruments of communication. we really do not understand the implications. the really want the government taking control in a way that will protect us and the spine and everyone at the same time? it's not an easy question. >> are we behind the curve in this conflict? >> i don't know. this has been traced after a six-year investigation to the people's liberation hacking unit and there are hundreds of companies that have had plans and documents that have been
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stolen and there has been a reluctance to go public with this information. they did not want to move the stream out of china. the former cia director requested a retaliation. how about stopping buying electronics. that is something we need to do nationally. they cannot say they want to be part of an international community and the break in the house is up and down. >> we're entering the new era of an arms race. offense because defense. i'm afraid the next cycle is to figure out offensive for them. >> the best defense is a good offense. what ever. [laughter] in a fresh look at the death penalty in the supreme court.
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>> they have looked at this for 200 years ago on how to apply the death penalty rationally. they have not concerned. >> states with capital punishment have the highest murder rates. those without capital punishment have the lowest. go figure. >> veterans in the abc news tranche offering in a book about the death penalty, lethal crimes in landmark cases. i spoke to them a few days after the georgia death row prisoner had escaped murderer by 30 minutes. this is not somebody you would want to take your daughter to the prom, but they decided to take a closer look at his mental status. he has an iq of 70, historically defined 70 and below as retardation. it is cruel and unusual punishment to execute someone
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with an iq of 70? >> the whole thing is cruel and unusual punishment because it cannot be applied fairly. it is the poor people, the badly represented. people in these and lawyers do not get in this situation. >> you have covered this debate. a black person kills a black person, not like the get the death penalty. they kill a white person, they are more likely. >> that is what statistics show. to clarify, the supreme court has ruled it is cruel and unusual punishment to execute it retarded, but it leadves to the states for them to define it. it gets murky. >> the state of maryland is moving closer to abandoning the
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death penalty. martin o'malley is leading the charge. maundering about the political consequences of this. all of the execution scheduled for the month of april this year are in texas. it's going to cost you politically if you denounce the death penalty. >> the movement is toward ending capital punishment but whether it is a new mexico, montana, now maryland. allstate, jewish, muslim, catholic, protestant, they have all come together in support of this, which is interesting. since 1973, there have been 140 exoneration. someone on death row scheduled to be executed and now evidence comes forward. this is a mistake about cannot be reversed, but if anyone
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doubts the political appeal, you have to go back to 1993 when a young democratic governor from arkansas flew all the way back to little rock to preside over the execution of someone who had an iq in double digits. >> that would be bill clinton. >> these are strong arguments about on a fairness and making irreversible mistakes. in some senses, the strongest argument against the death penalty and the one i adhere to is that you try to govern a civilized society at the lowest level of violence, but you cannot. it is a sign of civilization that you can administer a society and have relative peace with had little official violence as a can. you cann argument if
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abolish it with all hell breaking loose, and obviously it can be done because there is no correlation, then you want to do it. i think if we can, we ought to. europe lives without a death penalty and the murder rates are infinitely lower than they are here. >> he has given the argument. there is no evidence to suggest that it works. it does not stop murder. what is the argument for the death penalty? >> the state to believe in retribution. that is one of the things about it. that is a legitimate thing for them to do, but it does cost a fortune. it takes forever to litigate these cases. hundreds of millions of dollars to the states that have the death penalty. >> he's only been on the job for one month, but senator ted cruz of texas has come roaring out of
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the gate. >> the attention focused on me, in my opinion, it is primarily being driven by an effort to distract the merits of the hagel nomination. he is one of 14 senators calling on president obama to withdraw the nomination for defense secretary. the tea party loves this guy for being so aggressive. i wonder if all this aggression early on will play out. >> it the most attention he got was leaving the distinct impression that there was a real possibility that chuck hagel had collected speaking fees from north korea and south -- saudi arabia. that was completely false along with the other end bonus contrivants of the tea party orowd -- crowd.
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>> i love this. here we are when we're winding down wars and we have an important choice in the secretary of defense and he gives the worst performance in a hearing had seen in 30 years and he has no idea what the containment of iran means and the democratic senator says of them that he will not be bringing the potato salad to the mensa picnic this week and we want to talk about a junior senator from texas? i think talking about hagel is the real issue. >> when you have a new figure in the united states senate, he argued cases for texas in the united states supreme court. he's very smart. he's very good. he made sure the focus was on him. this was not a distraction. >> watch this guy.
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there are a lot of demagogues of their. he's really smart. that makes some potentially dangerous. >> i notice how you did not ask about the nomination prospects. >> he's going to get confirmed. >> is that not an interesting idea? >> like all good catholic boy is, he will be confirmed. >> and senator shelby will go along. >> at a distinguished american leader from alabama, former democratic senator, later republican senator, switched in 1994, and he has announced his support. >> can i have a quick comment on jesse jackson, jr.? he pled guilty to stealing $750,000. >> he did all the right things.
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he worked hard. he did not hold press conferences. someone has to explain to me. i went from a timex to an l.l. bean watch. when is the appeal of a $443,000 watch? >> roosevelt, churchill, it's just a long history. the tarp to be the son of a famous person. >> i talked to him right after he got any and i thought he had a very bright future. thanks. we will see you next week. what's for a transcript of this broadcast, log onto what's for a transcript of this broadcast, log onto
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